LIFE INSURANCE CORPORATION OF INDIA AND ORS Vs. SHANKRI DEVI W/O ROOP RAM AND ORS
HIMACHAL PRADESH STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
Life Insurance Corporation Of India And Ors
Shankri Devi W/O Roop Ram And Ors
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(1.) ONLY question involved in this appeal is, whether the death of deceased Dhani Ram -insured was caused due to his being under the influence of intoxicating liquor within the meaning of Clause 10(b) (i) of the policy bond, Annexure R.2, filed by the appellant -Insurance Company while contesting the complaint No.30/2007, wherein the impugned order was passed by District Forum, Solan on 27.6.2009.
(2.) DECEASED , Dhani Ram, having obtained double accident benefit policy in the sum of Rs.50,000/ - vide Annexure R.2 is not in dispute between the parties. It was further not in dispute that as a result of the accident, sum insured alongwith other admissible benefits in terms of the policy bond have already been released to the beneficiary -respondent, however admissible benefit on account of accident has not been released. It is further admitted between the parties that on 1.12.2004, deceased while driving the truck bearing registration No.HP -14 -2557 died. Claim was lodged by the respondent. And as already noted, benefit of double accident claim was repudiated on 29.8.2006 on the plea that he had violated the terms and conditions of the policy because he was driving the vehicle under the influence of liquor. Alleging deficiency in service on the part of the appellant, a consumer complaint was filed which was contested by the appellant reiterating its stand on which the claim was repudiated by it.
(3.) DISTRICT Forum below after hearing the parties, has directed the appellant to pay Rs.50,000/ - alongwith interest @ 9% per annum from 5.4.2007, the date of filing of the complaint till actual payment was made alongwith Rs.2,000/ - as cost of litigation. Appellant has been directed to pay this amount within 45 days after receipt of copy of the said order.
Mr. Verma, learned Counsel for the appellant forcefully urged that his client was justified in repudiating the double accident benefit claim of the respondent, because the deceased driver i.e. the life -assured Shri Dhani Ram was driving the vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor when the accident took place and as a result of which he died. With a view to advance this submission, he placed reliance on the report of the Forensic Science Laboratory, Himachal Pradesh, Shimla -171001, Annexure R.5. According to him, in the viscera of the deceased that was sent for chemical examination, alcohol was found, therefore he asserted that the District Forum below fell into error by ignoring this vital document and passing the impugned order. Per him this appeal deserves to be allowed on this short ground alone.;
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